Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Virginia Louise Trimble
University of California, Irvine


"For extensive contributions to the history of astrophysics, particularly for reference works, articles, and biographical essays, especially works that include female astronomers, and for supporting the history of the physics community."


Virginia Trimble is a native Californian and graduate of Hollywood High School, UCLA (BA 1964), and the California Institute of Technology (PhD 1968), with an honorary doctorate from the University of Valencia, Spain (2010). Her early astronomical research focussed on white dwarfs, supernovae and their remnants, and statistics of binary stars. She gradually transitioned to scientometrics (attempting to be quantitative about how science is done), and then to the history of astronomy and physics, when she realized that many things she had experienced as current events - the discovery pf quasars, the cosmic microwave background, pulsars, black hole X-ray binaries, and gamma ray bursts - had somehow become history. Trimble is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Sigma Xi, a member of the National Society of Black Physicists, the International Astronomical Union, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and another double handful of professional organizations, filling committee positions and minor offices in many of them. Trimble received the George van Biesbroeck Prize of the AAS (2010), the Andrew Gemant Award of the American Institute of Physics, the Olcott Prize of AAVSO (2018), and the first Keplerus Ellipsis Award of Societas Astronomia Nova (2020).